Marian Docherty

Principal: Marian Docherty

Welcome to the Newbattle Abbey College website which I hope will give you a flavour of the life and work of our college.

As Scotland’s Adult Education Residential College, we offer adults with few or no qualifications the opportunity to experience a high quality transformative learning experience within a historic heritage site. Our motto is ‘Sero Sed Serio’ (late but in earnest), and describes our students who are 19 years of age or over, returning to education after diverse life experiences. We also work with younger learners at points of transition.

Taking the first steps back into education can be daunting, but at Newbattle we provide extensive support for students within a community environment. Our learners benefit from high quality teaching in tutorial groups from tutors who are committed to help you build up your confidence and who will encourage you to enjoy the learning experience.

The college is set in 125 acres of beautiful parkland just outside Edinburgh and the historic 16th century building and peaceful surroundings make it a unique place to learn and study, to take stock and embark on new opportunities. When the 11th Marquis of Lothian generously gave this former Cistercian monastery to the people of Scotland, he wanted those who had never had an education to benefit. Almost 80 years later, the college still operates with the same principles.

Newbattle has extended its curriculum in recent years to include 5 full-time courses. In addition to our core Access to Higher Education Course in Arts & Social Sciences, we offer a second Access Course and a National Certificate in Celtic Studies. In partnership with Queen Margaret University, we offer an HNC in Social Sciences. We have also developed a varied Rural Skills programme, which includes a National Certificate and a range of short courses for adults and younger learners. Beekeeping and Gaelic remain popular features of our short course programme.

Our greatest asset is our people and the success of our college is dependent on every member of staff.  We have shared Mission, Vision and Values that place you, the student, at the heart of what we do.

I look forward to welcoming you to the college and wish you every success in studying with us.

Marian Docherty


Our Mission

To be a national residential learning community which:
– Promotes lifelong learning
– Raises aspirations
– Supports learners in transition
– Enable learners to change their lives